In a move that I think is long overdue, the Fed announced that chairman Ben Bernanke will hold press briefings four times per year:
Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will hold press briefings four times per year to present the Federal Open Market Committee’s current economic projections and to provide additional context for the FOMC’s policy decisions.
In 2011, the Chairman’s press briefings will be held at 2:15 p.m. following FOMC decisions scheduled on April 27, June 22 and November 2. The briefings will be broadcast live on the Federal Reserve’s website. For these meetings, the FOMC statement is expected to be released at around 12:30 p.m., one hour and forty-five minutes earlier than for other FOMC meetings.
The introduction of regular press briefings is intended to further enhance the clarity and timeliness of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy communication. The Federal Reserve will continue to review its communications practices in the interest of ensuring accountability and increasing public understanding.
To the extent this will provide clarity to the Fed’s policy statement and reduce the guesswork involved in deciphering it, I believe this is a very positive development.